The government of Australia knows that the non-profit sector is vital in the national aspiration to create a “stronger and fairer country”. The new National Compact: Working Together adopted by the Australian government in March is built on a set of principles that begins: “We believe a strong independent [non-profit] Sector is vital for a fair, inclusive society. We acknowledge and value the immense contribution the Sector and its volunteers make to Australian life.” The Australian government recognizes the critical value of a vibrant and resilient non-profit sector (sometimes called the Third Sector, or the community sector) and the compact sets out eight “priorities for action” that could well be a strong foundation for the non-profit sector in Canada.
The Australian priorities for action are:
1. Document and promote the value and contribution of the Sector.
2. Protect the Sector’s right to advocacy irrespective of any funding relationship that might exist.
3. Recognise Sector diversity in consultation processes and Sector development initiatives.
4. Improve information sharing including greater access to publicly funded research and data.
5. Reduce red tape and streamline reporting.
6. Simplify and improve consistency of financial arrangements including across state and federal jurisdictions.
7. Act to improve paid and unpaid workforce issues.
8. Improve funding and procurement processes.